January 16, 2007

UAlbany Nanocollege Receives $250k Gift From Keybank And Key Foundation To Launch Joint ‘NEXSTEP Program

By: by Steve Janack, Director of Communications, CNSE


(Albany) - KeyBank and the Key Foundation today presented a ceremonial check for $250,000 to the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") to be used to launch a collaborative program designed to strengthen the presence of a nanotech-savvy business and support service workforce, network and culture essential to attracting additional high-tech growth to the Capital Region and New York State.

KeyBank's contribution will enable creation of the "Nanotechnology Explorations for Science, Training and Education Promotion," or "NEXSTEP" program, spearheaded by CNSE's NanoEconomics Constellation. NEXSTEP will include a series of educational initiatives that will promote greater understanding of, and exposure to, the region's changing economic and business environment, driven by nanotechnology, with a special emphasis on three C's: children, citizens and community.

NEXSTEP will provide unique educational and career exploration opportunities for high school students in the field of nanotechnology, as well as unparalleled insight for leaders in the business, government and not-for-profit sectors into the dynamic forces that are rapidly transforming our region and state. In the process, NEXSTEP will directly address a need identified by the National Science Foundation, which predicts that over two million nanotech-savvy workers will be required by 2015, with 80 percent of those workers in highly skilled support service positions including engineers, technicians, business leaders, economists and lawyers, among others.

"In many ways, the vision of the Capital Region becoming a hub for the advancement of nanotechnology-driven business is becoming a reality," said Michael Orsino, president, Capital Region, KeyBank N.A. "The NEXSTEP program, which KeyBank is proud to help fund, provides a framework for what this means to our area and provides initiatives that will ensure that our region's students, workers and businesses are not left behind by the tremendous opportunities the shifting economy will present now and into the future."

Provost Susan Herbst, Officer in Charge of the University at Albany, said, "The University at Albany is proud of its longstanding and valued partnership with KeyBank, an organization that consistently demonstrates steadfast support of the University and the greater Capital Region through its exceptional leadership, collaboration and investment. KeyBank's gift to UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is further evidence not only of Key's vision for the future, but also its willingness to share both its talent and resources to enable this region to grow and prosper."

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of CNSE, said, "The UAlbany NanoCollege is grateful to the leadership of KeyBank and the Key Foundation for their enabling financial support and partnership in the creation of the NEXSTEP initiative, which truly represents a critical investment in the region's long-term growth. We look forward to the development of this unique program, which will help to prepare both the people and support services that are vital to the ongoing expansion of the nanotechnology sector in this region and throughout New York State."

Rick Whitney, Chief Operating Officer of M & W Zander US Operations, said, "As one of only three global firms specializing in the design and construction of 300mm wafer computer chip fabrication plants, M & W Zander is keenly aware of the importance of building a network of tech-savvy companies that can provide the support services necessary to enable high-tech growth. Through our experience at CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex, we have had the good fortune of working with well over 100 exceptional local and regional firms, and the NEXSTEP program will play a key role in expanding that critical infrastructure in the future."

Peter Campito, President of Campito Plumbing and Heating, said, "The projects we have been involved in at CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex have had a significant impact on our business, while also teaching us new skills in the high-tech setting that are positioning our firm to compete on a national and international basis. We are a prime example of a locally home-grown company seizing new opportunities created by our growing nanotechnology sector, and we fully support the NEXSTEP program as a means of preparing more traditional businesses for the 21st-century economy."

Professor Edward Cupoli, Head of the CNSE NanoEconomics Constellation, said, "As nanotechnology know-how drives swift and significant changes in diverse areas from nanoelectronics and health care to energy and telecommunications, it is critical that individuals and businesses from every industry are prepared to compete in a dynamic new marketplace. The investment by, and valued collaboration with, KeyBank and the Key Foundation will enable CNSE's NanoEconomics Constellation to play a vital role in providing a variety of educational programs and opportunities to further develop our regional and statewide nanotech economy."

NEXSTEP will engage children by using CNSE's world-class faculty and facilities, global industry partners and service providers to showcase the multiple employment pathways that support the world of nanotechnology in fields such as nanofabrication, nanomedicine and nanoenergy. The dynamic student experience will include presentations from faculty, staff and partners at CNSE with accompanying field trips to industry, educational and service provider partner locations.

NEXSTEP will engage citizens through a NanoEconomics Speaker Series, which will provide a unique forum for individuals with a national and international reputation to present global viewpoints on the business of nanotechnology, related trends and future implications as a means of enhancing the region's business and service provider network. At the same time, the series will encourage the cross-connection of business and service providers necessary to support nanotechnology-driven industries, which is critical to the growth of a vibrant network of nano-savvy support companies.

In addition, NEXSTEP will engage community with a NanoEconomics Seminar Series to promote and provide better understanding among regional economic development and service organizations regarding the changing economic paradigm for regional innovation models, strengthening the region's business culture and encouraging the development of integrated plans driven by high-tech growth - which promises enormous opportunities for both traditional and technology businesses, educational institutions, urban centers, technology parks and others.

About KeyCorp. KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $96 billion. Recently recognized by the Business Review as one of the Great Places to Work in the Capital Region, the 10-county Capital Region NY District, one of 23 KeyCorp districts, has assets of approximately $3.3 billion. Across New York State, Key has one of the largest networks of branches and ATMs. Key is a leader in community involvement, and contributes more than $1 million to local nonprofit agencies and organizations throughout the Capital Region. A strong proponent for local economic growth, Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, retirement, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. The company's businesses deliver their products and services through KeyCenters and offices; a network of approximately 2,300 ATMs; telephone banking centers (1.800.KEY2YOU); and a Web site, Key.com, that provides account access and financial products 24 hours a day.

About CNSE. The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany-State University of New York is the first college in the world dedicated to the research, development and deployment of innovative nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience and nanoeconomics concepts, and in May 2006, it was ranked by Small Times magazine as the nation's number one college for nanotechnology and microtechnology. CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex is the most advanced research facility of its kind at any university in the world: a $3 billion, 450,000-square-foot complex that attracts corporate partners from around the world and offers students a one-of-a-kind academic experience, and it is growing. The UAlbany Nanocollege is also home to the New York State Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics.  The CNSE complex, financed through more than $500 million in governmental support and over $2.5 billion in corporate investments, houses the only pilot prototyping facilities in the academic world for the two standard sizes in computer chip design, the 200-millimeter (or 8-inch) wafer, and the 300-millimeter (or 12-inch) wafer. CNSE has more than 250 U.S. and worldwide partners, including some of the world's largest semiconductor and semiconductor-related tool manufacturing companies.  For more information, visit the CNSE Web site at http://cnse.albany.edu/.